The Ice Man Cometh
By Kathleen Murphy Colan, Special to The Plain Dealer
© Plain Dealer (Cleveland): October 30, 2005 Sunday
Five Minutes With… Scott Hamilton
Olympic gold medalist Scott Hamilton comes to town Saturday to perform with Liza Minnelli and Michael Feinstein at The Q for the fourth annual Scott CARES Initiative (Cancer Alliance for Research, Education and Survivorship) to benefit the Cleveland Clinic, where he was treated for cancer.
Hamilton, who was born in Bowling Green, visits Cleveland four or five times a year for medical treatment. He talked with Kathleen Murphy Colan from Los Angeles, where he’s taping a skating competition for the Fox Network, “Skating With Celebrities.” The show pairs six personalities – Dave Coulier, Bruce Jenner, Todd Bridges, Kristy Swanson, Deborah Gibson and Jillian Barberie – with skating stars including Nancy Kerrigan, Tai Babilonia and Kurt Browning for the six-episode competition.
What’s your favorite thing about Cleveland?
I adore the people there, the enthusiasm and the friendliness. We always go to eat at Johnny’s on Fulton, and my son, Aidan, loves the fountains at Tower City. Because my wife, Tracie, is a nutritionist, we usually end up going to the Mustard Seed Market a lot, too. My least favorite thing is the weather. The weather can really challenge your love for Cleveland.
You’ve had a lot of health problems in your life. How do you keep such a positive attitude?
You have a choice if you want to like your day or not like your day. It’s easy to sweat the small stuff. I’ve had enough challenges, so I know that you’ve got to make your day what you want. You choose to be happy on many levels. You can dread everything or embrace everything. There is always a silver lining, and people have a hard time remembering that.
What is it like working on “Skating With Celebrities”?
Everybody that’s come into this has come in with a light spirit that was quickly replaced with the realities of the determination that is needed. Take Jillian Barberie (Fox newscaster); she’s got this provocative, sexy persona, but the person that she is away from the camera is laid back and mellow. She came to work, and she’s really determined. It’s been a learning experience for me hosting a prime-time show; it’s very addictive. You really start to care about celebrities and skaters. The process from being ordinary citizen to being a skater in a competitive circumstance is fascinating; we’re pretty excited about it.